Obama and the Frog Pot Boil

We all know the metaphor for dangerous incrementalism: put a frog in a pot, slowly raise the temperature, and the frog will boil to death.  For generations, liberalism has cleverly coordinated the country's slow, incremental push leftward: exploiting sympathies for the poor and sick to expand all things government and hammering the benefits of social justice, diversity, and multiculturalism to expand government into a centralized behemoth.  The 2008 financial crisis provided cover for further governmental expansion, ushering in the presidency of Obama.  With a nation on the ropes and control of the White House and Congress, liberalism had a straight path to its inveterate goal: irreversible European-style socialism here in the U.S.  Fortunately, unchecked hubris triggered a reversal that may well save this nation. 

Following the frog pot metaphor, an arrogant Obama walked up to the stove unsure of why no one simply spun the dial to high and boiled away our remaining liberties and free-market prosperity.  Perhaps he thought, as he has been told much of his life, that nobody before him was brilliant enough to sort out this bothersome delay.  It looked so easy.  In came Obama, up went the temperature, and out leapt the Tea Party and a public awareness and involvement that outsized even his unprecedented hubris.  Chances are that slow-cooking frogs will never be easy again.

You can't blame them.  Enjoying the cakewalk that put Obama in the White House and with Pelosi and Reid in power, there really was nothing to stop them.  "If not now," they thought, "when?"  Plenty of leftists focused on the long view probably offered strategic caution to stick with the slow-and-steady plan.  But again, if not now, when -- it's rare for one party to control everything.  They all knew they weren't going to fundamentally transform America by providing full disclosure of their intentions and methods.  Joe the Plumber was marked for destruction after eliciting an honest "I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody" M.O. from candidate Obama. 

But things got away from them.  A president with no executive experience whatsoever delegated the enactment of ObamaCare to Pelosi and Reid, neither of whom had the savvy to play modestly with their winning hand.  Convinced that all means were justified and that resistance was futile and/or nonexistent, they scared away an otherwise docile segment of voters (and non-voters until that moment).  Simple lip-service to criticism of the proposed health care overhaul and the negotiation process may have simmered the growing opposition.  But then again, we're talking about a president who responds to critics with "I won" and a Speaker who thought an oversized gavel was a clever prop to demonstrate her modesty and professionalism. 

ObamaCare was passed, despite every signal that the wheels were coming off, and Pelosi mocked the opposition.  Constitutional?  "Are you serious?"  How will it work?  "We have to pass the bill to find out what's in it."  Unaware that most people would be fired for such incompetence, they thought that they were beyond reproach.  Nope.  The sleeping giant awoke and jumped out of the pot -- into town hall meetings across the country, and eventually into the voting booths in November 2010.

Now, ObamaCare appears to be at the mercy of the death panels of public opinion, its popularity and legality constantly in question.  Instead of talking about government expansion, the left is trying to minimize spending contractions.  Instead of further empowering labor unions, the country is wondering aloud how and why government workers have such a good deal.  Suddenly, defined contribution v. defined benefit is no longer a distinction without a difference to the public at large.

And that's how things changed.  An ever-growing portion of the public, including the college-aged, is learning about the realities of a centralized government attempting wealth redistribution based upon an unrealistic worldview.  The ineffectiveness of liberalism's treatment of all things economic is coming to light.  A supposed elite who know everything -- except, apparently, basic human behaviors -- is demanding unchecked control of all things.

Not only has a whole generation witnessed why the Tea Party pumped the brakes, but the current jobless recovery is forcing these same people to sort out what "redistribution of wealth" really means and whether government can actually and efficiently create jobs.  The empty campaign rhetoric of blaming everything on everyone else isn't as persuasive when one's career and life are on hold due to a stagnant economy.  Perhaps Obama will go down as having lost an entire generation of left-leaning voters -- or at least that generation's blind assurance that only one party offers realistic solutions. 

Obama was ushered into office by a perfect storm of circumstance.  His rank inability to appreciate today's realities may be yet another perfect storm to ensure that liberalism will no longer enjoy its silent march through the Constitution.   Now the right is slowly trying to be more conservative -- not more centrist.

But the center is a moving target, and liberals have been very successful in defining the center leftward, leaving even mild conservatives to be viewed as "extremists."  Even when Obama is gone, the left will be fighting to reclaim, rather than redefine, the center.

Obama may now understand why you stick with the plan and slowly boil away freedoms.  The frog pot boil will always be on the political menu.  Now, hopefully, more people will be jumping out of the pot than in.
We all know the metaphor for dangerous incrementalism: put a frog in a pot, slowly raise the temperature, and the frog will boil to death.  For generations, liberalism has cleverly coordinated the country's slow, incremental push leftward: exploiting sympathies for the poor and sick to expand all things government and hammering the benefits of social justice, diversity, and multiculturalism to expand government into a centralized behemoth.  The 2008 financial crisis provided cover for further governmental expansion, ushering in the presidency of Obama.  With a nation on the ropes and control of the White House and Congress, liberalism had a straight path to its inveterate goal: irreversible European-style socialism here in the U.S.  Fortunately, unchecked hubris triggered a reversal that may well save this nation. 

Following the frog pot metaphor, an arrogant Obama walked up to the stove unsure of why no one simply spun the dial to high and boiled away our remaining liberties and free-market prosperity.  Perhaps he thought, as he has been told much of his life, that nobody before him was brilliant enough to sort out this bothersome delay.  It looked so easy.  In came Obama, up went the temperature, and out leapt the Tea Party and a public awareness and involvement that outsized even his unprecedented hubris.  Chances are that slow-cooking frogs will never be easy again.

You can't blame them.  Enjoying the cakewalk that put Obama in the White House and with Pelosi and Reid in power, there really was nothing to stop them.  "If not now," they thought, "when?"  Plenty of leftists focused on the long view probably offered strategic caution to stick with the slow-and-steady plan.  But again, if not now, when -- it's rare for one party to control everything.  They all knew they weren't going to fundamentally transform America by providing full disclosure of their intentions and methods.  Joe the Plumber was marked for destruction after eliciting an honest "I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody" M.O. from candidate Obama. 

But things got away from them.  A president with no executive experience whatsoever delegated the enactment of ObamaCare to Pelosi and Reid, neither of whom had the savvy to play modestly with their winning hand.  Convinced that all means were justified and that resistance was futile and/or nonexistent, they scared away an otherwise docile segment of voters (and non-voters until that moment).  Simple lip-service to criticism of the proposed health care overhaul and the negotiation process may have simmered the growing opposition.  But then again, we're talking about a president who responds to critics with "I won" and a Speaker who thought an oversized gavel was a clever prop to demonstrate her modesty and professionalism. 

ObamaCare was passed, despite every signal that the wheels were coming off, and Pelosi mocked the opposition.  Constitutional?  "Are you serious?"  How will it work?  "We have to pass the bill to find out what's in it."  Unaware that most people would be fired for such incompetence, they thought that they were beyond reproach.  Nope.  The sleeping giant awoke and jumped out of the pot -- into town hall meetings across the country, and eventually into the voting booths in November 2010.

Now, ObamaCare appears to be at the mercy of the death panels of public opinion, its popularity and legality constantly in question.  Instead of talking about government expansion, the left is trying to minimize spending contractions.  Instead of further empowering labor unions, the country is wondering aloud how and why government workers have such a good deal.  Suddenly, defined contribution v. defined benefit is no longer a distinction without a difference to the public at large.

And that's how things changed.  An ever-growing portion of the public, including the college-aged, is learning about the realities of a centralized government attempting wealth redistribution based upon an unrealistic worldview.  The ineffectiveness of liberalism's treatment of all things economic is coming to light.  A supposed elite who know everything -- except, apparently, basic human behaviors -- is demanding unchecked control of all things.

Not only has a whole generation witnessed why the Tea Party pumped the brakes, but the current jobless recovery is forcing these same people to sort out what "redistribution of wealth" really means and whether government can actually and efficiently create jobs.  The empty campaign rhetoric of blaming everything on everyone else isn't as persuasive when one's career and life are on hold due to a stagnant economy.  Perhaps Obama will go down as having lost an entire generation of left-leaning voters -- or at least that generation's blind assurance that only one party offers realistic solutions. 

Obama was ushered into office by a perfect storm of circumstance.  His rank inability to appreciate today's realities may be yet another perfect storm to ensure that liberalism will no longer enjoy its silent march through the Constitution.   Now the right is slowly trying to be more conservative -- not more centrist.

But the center is a moving target, and liberals have been very successful in defining the center leftward, leaving even mild conservatives to be viewed as "extremists."  Even when Obama is gone, the left will be fighting to reclaim, rather than redefine, the center.

Obama may now understand why you stick with the plan and slowly boil away freedoms.  The frog pot boil will always be on the political menu.  Now, hopefully, more people will be jumping out of the pot than in.